Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (June 21, 2011)
Author's Website: http://suzanne-young.blogspot.com/
Buy the book: Amazon
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.
Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?
When I started this book, I wasn't really sure what it was about, and to be honest, I'm still not quite sure what it was about. Charlotte isn't like any other "paranormal" that I've ever read about. Some people are calling her an angel, and she even questions that herself, but she's certainly not like any angel I've ever heard of. She's something new, and original, and entirely herself. Which I really found fascinating. Charlotte is a Forgotten. She feels a physical (sometimes painful) pull to help those in need. And this Need is starting to take over her life. She doesn't understand what's happening to her or why, but every time she helps someone she loses a piece of herself, and the people she helps forget her almost immediately. When she realizes that the people close to her are starting to forget her too, she has to chose between what she believes is her destiny, her calling, and what she wants most in the world....to be remembered.
The writing in this book is fantastic. A Need So Beautiful is the first book I've read by Suzanne Young, but I will definitely be looking for more by her. I don't read many books where the girl/guy relationship is already formed. When we start this book, Charlotte and her boyfriend, Harlin are already quite serious, and seriously in love. This did take away some of the appeal for me, because there's just nothing I enjoy more than romantic tension and build up, but it didn't detract as much as I thought it would. I think it's because the relationship between them was just so stinking sweet. He was seriously the most amazing boyfriend on the planet, maybe even rivaling Jay and Violet from Desires of the Dead. I loved the two of them together, and I loved that he would obviously do anything for her.
One thing that kind of bugged me was that I didn't feel like there was anything special about Charlotte. At one point, Monroe, her mentor, told her this was happening to her because she was so good. But I didn't see that. Not that she wasn't good, but I didn't see anything especially different about her. She wasn't even eager to help those in need, she just seemed to do it because it was painful not to. She seemed to be like every other teen...she drank, she cussed, she had sex with her boyfriend, she seemed kind of oblivious to her best friend's life spiraling out of control. Not to say that she didn't care, she definitely did, but I felt like even though she was a likable character, there was nothing extraordinary about her. Maybe that was the point, though. That even an average person has the power to change the world. That one decision can change your life, and the lives of others, forever. (Do you like how I just had an entire argument with myself?)
This story was an emotional roller coaster for sure. It was seriously painful for me to see that Charlotte really had no good choice. The more she helped, and fulfilled the Need, the closer she got to being forgotten completely. But not helping others was even more painful. The thought that she would have to leave Harlin behind just killed me, not to mention her family and her best friend. I seriously wanted to cry! And even though there was no easy ending, I still enjoyed it to the end, and I especially liked the "After." It made me smile with the thought of what might come next. I'll find out in A Want So Wicked, coming out next summer.
A Need So Beautiful releases June 21, 2011.
- Sexual Content: Heavy
- Profanity: Moderate
- Violence: Mild
- Other Notables: Underage Drinking